Saturday, February 19, 2011

REVIEW: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Haven Moore can't control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother's house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.
In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

I knew that there was always the possibility that I wouldn't get on with some of the books I'd chosen to read for Love month. And sadly, The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller is a book that I really didn't get on very well with. There are many other bloggers out there who rave about this one and lots love it. So I would strongly recommend that this be a book that you read for yourself in order to find where you stand on the story, the characters and the romance.

I think The Eternal Ones is an interesting premise. Haven Moore has grown up seeing visions and dreaming about a life in New York in a different time and being in love with a beautiful boy named Ethan. In her visions, she (Constance) and Ethan die in a fire under mysterious circumstances. There are many questions hanging over their relationship and about Ethan himself, who seems to be involved in some dodgy dealings and has been accused of murdering someone close to him.

Haven has always been led to believe that these visions are evil, and living in a deeply religious household and town, that they signify the work of some demon that must be exorcised from Haven. I felt particularly uncomfortable with this brand of religiousness and was happy when things moved on into different directions. However, it did take a considerable amount of time for Haven to leave her small-town and for the story to progress further. During this time though, we do meet Haven's best friend, Beau and his father, both characters who I really liked. When Haven finally learns of the Ouroboros Society that deals with people who believe they are reincarnations of other souls, Haven travels to New York in order to seek answers and to find Ethan, who she believes is a famous movie star, named Iain Morrow.

Things get kind of murky and confusing in New York. Haven doesn't know who to trust, including Ethan/Iain and some of the members of the Ouroboros Society. This is the part where I have the most objections. I understand that Constance (the name Haven goes by in the previous life that she has had the visions about) and Ethan shared this epic love. I understand that and can believe in their love based on what we learn about them during Haven's visions. What I had trouble believing and understanding is how that translates into Iain and Haven being in love in the present. Iain and Haven know absolutely nothing about each other in this life and take very little time to get to know each other either. They seem to be solely basing their relationship on what has happened in their previous lives. The previous life that Haven is still unsure of and doesn't have all the information on what exactly went down.

Because of Haven's lack of knowledge both in her previous life as Constance and in the present, she swings wildly between trust and wariness of Iain. She seems to swap how she feels about Iain and the Society at the word of anyone and goes back and forth many times. Those heavy swings of trust together with her inability to leave her small-town and actually get to New York City for such a large part of the novel made me feel that Haven is a character that had me quickly annoyed.

So, for me, I wasn't as enamoured of this book as other people.


  1. You already know I completely agree with you. I didn't touch on the religion issue in my review, but I completely agree with you on that as well.

    Great review. :)

  2. Sorry you didn't love it, can't love every book!

  3. I enjoyed it, I have to say. Some things did bother me (like how it was assumed that Constance/Iain would be in love, and the token gay best friend), but I really liked the whole historical side to it. I guess that's why I like Blue Bloods too. Not a masterpiece by far but quite enjoyable.
    However, I have to say I am now officialy sick to death (no pun intented) of paranormal romances!!! The YA market really needs something new!

  4. i was recommended this book so long ago and have a copy i'm keen to read it and see if i agree!

    also i love that you linked to other reviews for a balanced viewpoint. A* to you for that one!

  5. I didnt love this one either, glad Im not on my own!

  6. Claire - I know we talked about it on twitter, but I haven't read your review of it as yet! Will read it next time I'm trying to catch up :)

    Viv - No, it just isn't possible :)

    Library Mice - I'm with you on moving on from paranormal romances. I actually think there's an abundance of dystopic YA and that's already the next new thing on the back of the success of The Hunger Games.

    Laura - Who knows, you could fall in the group that LOVE it! I hope so, for your sake :)

    Lyndsey - Yeah, for sure!

  7. I'm sorry you didn't love it, it seems to be a book that's splitting opinion - I really enjoyed it but found it slow to get going.

    Great review though :D

  8. I'm with you on the dystopic books too. In fact I mentioned it on my review of Across the Universe. The market is getting saturated, we need something new!!!


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